Pasco superintendent of schools is no ordinary superintendent. An elected official, Kurt Browning was Charlie Crist’s Secretary of State and was reappointed to the same position by Rick Scott before resigning to run for Pasco superintendent in 2012. He once served on a Jeb Bush task force while serving as Pasco supervisor of elections. Yesterday, he told Pasco county taxpayers to be cautious in making judgments in teacher VAM scores in a Tampa Tribune story by Ronnie Blair:
In Pasco, Superintendent Kurt Browning issued a statement on the heels of the release, cautioning parents that they should not jump to conclusions about their children’s teachers based on what they see in the state data…
“Easily half of Pasco’s teachers are being evaluated using different data sources,” Browning said..
The data release left districts clearly worried about the effect on teacher morale.
“We have great teachers in Pasco, and I don’t want this release to impact our teacher/principal relationships, or lead to a misunderstanding about an individual teacher’s performance,” Browning said in his statement. “We will do what we can to assure that the teacher evaluation process is meaningful and is used to inform teachers about their strengths and opportunities for growth.”
You can be sure that Scott and Bush never expected Browning to wander off the reservation and not toe the company line. While they got what they wanted in Broward with Robert Runcie, a Broad Academy hired gun from Chicago, Browning has performed as a superintendent who is devoted his schools, families and children. Browning is from Pasco.
With state school superintendents assailing VAM scores, today’s expected defense by Michelle Rhee’s Students First and Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Florida’s Future will mark the beginning of push-back to control the narrative. Ironically, the opinion pieces will appear in the Florida Times-Union which sued to get the data.